Robert was until recently a barrister of many years’ experience.
He practiced as a commercial barrister specialising in intellectual property and has taught at both Monash and Trinity College, Melbourne University.
He was recently head hunted to work for a commercial property-based company as an inhouse counsel.
At the Bar Robert accepted all manner of commercial briefs.
While devoted to his practice, he found time to publish through Thomson Reuters , texts on Employer, Employees and Goodwill encompassing Restraint of Trade covenants and a text which became a service on Trade Secrets and Privacy. More recently, in 2018, he published a book entitled “Dean’s Law on Trade Secrets and Privacy” published by Thomson Reuters.
For his efforts he was awarded an LLD from Melbourne University.
These texts concern the protection of confidential information and restraint of trade covenants. Much of the content of these works include practical advice derived from his day to day practice as a barrister.
The works have been met with acclaim referred to and cited many times by the Superior Courts in each of the states and New Zealand and judged by the Australian Law Journal as one of the ten best legal texts ever written in Australia.
His reputation particularly in these and associated areas of law is Australia wide and he is acknowledged by the legal profession as one of Australia’s leading advocates on the protection of commercial and private confidential information in whatever form.
This aspect of intellectual property requires expertise in statutory protection, including copyright and trademarks, competition and consumer law, company law and the related causes of action in commercial law such as contract or where disputes arise within the context of relationships such as joint ventures, employees and directors.
It covers inducing breach of contract, conspiracy and many other areas of commercial law.
A large proportion of Roberts practice was concerned with the very complex area of “Restraint of Trade Clauses”.
The complexity of these clauses and the meticulous drafting required has led to Robert advising on the drafting of such clauses and fighting or settling cases on potentially invalid restraints.
As a consequence of the urgency of protecting secret information, he became accomplished in interlocutory applications, obtaining Anton Pillar [Search] and Mareva [Freeze] Orders where winning relies almost entirely on advocacy skills and confidence in the courtroom. He has developed skills with respect to litigation tactics (a chapter in his text).
Tribunal work includes Freedom of information, compensation and planning applications.
He is regularly asked to lecture on these areas in Victoria and interstate by solicitor institutions.
‘In summary, Robert practises in commercial law and intellectual property, in particular the protection of secret information with concurrent expertise in Copyright, Trade Marks, Patents, Competition Consumer Legislation, Company law and the associated areas of law noted above. He has an extensive practice in “Restraint of Trade covenants”.